How the Impressionists Dressed for Success

Via: Bigthink

by Bob Duggan
March 3, 2013, 10:57 PM

The latest fashion… is absolutely necessary for a painting,” artist Édouard Manet announced in 1881. “It’s what matters most.” When most people think of Impressionism, they may think of flowers, haystacks, water lilies, dancers, and even nude bathers, but rarely of haute couture caught on canvas. Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, which runs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City through May 27, 2013, focuses on how Impressionists from the 1860s through the 1880s depicted the latest fashions as a sign of a new spirit and freedom—the same spirit and freedom that led to their then-radical art movement.

As Manet suggested, in many ways, showing the latest fashions in art was what mattered most. For modern audiences who tend to look past the clothes to the people and things, Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity reminds us of how the Impressionists “dressed” for success.

Fashion as we know it today started just around the same time the Impressionists began working. Paris emerged as the style capital of the world first in the mid-1860s as new innovations such as the department store, Prêt-à-Porter (i.e., ready-to-wear) clothing, and the fashion magazine created and catered to a public appetite for fashionable wear. As the exhibit’s press release points out, those at the forefront of the avant-garde—from Manet, Monet, and Renoir to Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Zola—turned a fresh eye to contemporary dress, embracing la mode as the harbinger of la modernité.”

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All The Constants

Via: Cry It Out

Posted February 5th, 2013

“Emme up,” she grumbles and sighs, “Emme up, Emme up.”

She grunts and rolls her face against the tiny mattress until finally she reveals a crumpled nose. She smashes the back of her hand against it.

“Emme up,” she grumbles again.

She stretches out her wrinkled, chubby arms, and I lift her from the crib. Her hands crawl behind my neck and squeeze. Her cheeks, as hot as stars, burn against my neck.

It’s late afternoon and we sit in her darkened room, the rest of the world blocked out by heavy window shades. I watch for a moment as she rubs her nose and then her eyes and yawns so wide it’s as if she is inhaling the universe.

We read for a bit, flipping through some now-forgotten text about hippos who enjoy raves and mathematics.

“Another?” I ask.

She yawns again. Rubs the back of her hand against her mouth.

“Emme knew daddy would be back.”

She smiles.

“Dreaming?”

She nods.

“I’ll always come back.”

She nods.

“Always.”

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A Rainbow of Giants

Via: Cry It Out
Posted January 12th, 2010

For Christmas, Emmeline received a scooter and has apparently made a secret pledge to stop using her feet, preferring the ease and laziness of wheeled transport. One time she hopped out of bed, landing on the thin pink scooter platform, and somehow made her way to the kitchen without touching the floor at all. If I tried that, I’d probably need a new hip.

In the afternoon, she will sometimes snap awake from a nap, grab her helmet and head to the door, despite the appearance of scattered stars.

“There’s still time,” she tells me, “But we have to hurry. Before it gets dark.”

I see her amble down the front stairs, her red helmet bobbing atop her head and her eyes working across the gloaming, contemplating the sky, watching as fog curls over the western hills and the vault above her turns the color of a bruise.

“There’s still time,” she whispers, almost to herself, “There’s still time.”

She hits the sidewalk determined, gripping the handlebars and scoots maybe five feet before the front wheels buckle against a raised sidewalk crack and she goes flying.

“I’m OK, I’m OK,” she tells me, brushing herself off, “But I think it’s too dark.”

“You didn’t see the crack?”

“I think it’s too dark.”

She reaches up and grabs my hand, and because we’re already outside, we take a slow walk around the block, watching as the sky dissolves into purple with slashes of crimson and ocher on the horizon. There’s a twinkle hiding behind the fog and she squints. She takes a few steps, her head turned upward. She squeezes my hand.

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